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Lawn mowers sound better than snow blowers

Dear Shirley, "Mighty short summer." That's how people have been greeting one another around here. It all started with snow on April Fools Day and the week has progressed with wind and snow and people remembering the big ice storm that preceded t...

Dear Shirley,

"Mighty short summer."

That's how people have been greeting one another around here. It all started with snow on April Fools Day and the week has progressed with wind and snow and people remembering the big ice storm that preceded the flooding 10 years ago in Grand Forks.

Nevertheless, I have made my final payment to my snow removal service. I have the feeling any snow that falls after March 15 does not deserve shoveling. I hope not to need the service until November. And I notice I paid for the first lawn mowing April 24 last year.

And so it goes. Life is interesting. They have been trying to get the downtown Christmas decorations removed before Easter. I don't know what we would talk about if it wasn't the weather, Shirley.

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Right now, the focus is on St. Louis, where UND is playing tonight in the NCAA Frozen Four college hockey tournament. Some fans have gone on a charter flight. Others have made their own arrangements. Many are driving down I-29, where Al Pearson had two buses of fans on the way.

There's a pre-game party down there before the game at Al Hrabosky's Ballpark Saloon. The Pride of the North Marching Band will play and UND people will be on hand. The rest of us will be listening and watching the game on television.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is the UND football team. They have tried to hold spring practice in the cold of Memorial Stadium this week. Tuesday, they watched films.

While we still have the weather to worry about in April, we don't have to worry about spring flooding like we did a decade ago. We feel secure within the dikes that have been built along the low-lying areas near the Red River. In years gone by, people would be building sandbag walls along the river. Now, sandbagging is becoming a lost art here. The UND students used to help out in springtime. I notice they are going to use some of their energy and good will with a second annual "Big Event" a week from Saturday. They will help out with tasks in the community.

Today is Maundy Thursday and tomorrow is Good Friday. There will be no classes Friday or Monday at UND and in the city schools. I am looking forward to an Easter visit from the grandkids from Bismarck. Jack, Carrie and Anne are growing up too fast, but they still like Easter candy - especially Peeps.

Thanks for sending the clipping from the Arizona Daily Star about homeless people living on rooftops in downtown Tucson. I guess nobody ever thought of that around here. I suppose the 70 police officers who work in that area in Tucson are looking up more often these days.

Here's wishing you a happy Easter in the desert. Love from your sister, Marilyn, boiling eggs in the Red River Valley of the North.

P.S.: Several people around here are helping out with a project called Ethiopia Reads. It is designed to encourage more books for children in their language and more libraries and teachers in Ethiopia.

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The board president is Jane Kurtz, an author who formerly lived in Grand Forks. Friends of Ethiopia Reads here in Grand Forks are Nan Becker, Barb Beach, Dawn Botsford, Delphine Gregoire, Yvonne Hanley, Gail Hasz, Brenda Johnson, Jan Olson and Ann Porter.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gfherald.com or telephone 772-1055.

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